Three Trends set to Shape Professional Industries

I found a great article talking about some of the major themes that are predicted to influence professional industries this year. A big part of running a successful business is staying up-to-date with current trends that are affecting the marketplace.

Here are three trends that are set to be prevalent this year:

Trust as the key competitive advantage

It is said that no publicity is bad publicity, however that was before the dawn of the internet. The value of trust is increasing in all aspects of business and marketing. Nowadays, through digital media, there’s a far wider range of reference point to decide whether a brand is trustworthy or not.

Trust equals consistency over time, it is hard to win and quick to lose. A business can’t earn trust overnight, but it can make the decision to demonstrate dependable and transparent dealings with employees, customers and investors.

Employees as critical brand assets

Employees are the lifeblood of a company and they play a leading role in shaping the perceptions of the business for which they work. This is one of the reasons why social media blunders (such as derogatory remarks) commonly lead to employees being fired.

People regard employees as credible and trusted sources and genuine employee advocacy is an effective means of building a trusted brand. Marketers have always embraced a multi-channel strategy and employees should be considered as one of those channels.

Cold calling as an antiquated method

Statistics show that 90% of prospects ignore any form of cold contact. Online advertising is becoming more particularized and industries are becoming more globalized. Cold calling is becoming even more of a shot in the dark. Without any sort of established trust most people are likely to view this tactic as an annoyance.

At the same time, 85% of executives now rely on social media to inform their buying decisions. We are likely to see a big shift towards social selling in 2016 with sales teams adopting targeted and informed approaches.

There are already signs of these trends being relevant and it is up to us to adapt.

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